Master’s Degree Programs in Data Science

Master’s in Data Science – A guide to choosing a great program

A master’s degree in data science is like a ticket to ride for people looking to embark on exciting and rewarding careers in high-growth technology fields. Data science master’s programs usually combine an in-depth theoretical understanding of data acquisition and data systems architecture with more industry-driven skills such as data analysis and visualizations. The below list only covers campus based programs. Online programs can be found by visiting our Online Master’s in Data Science page.

Graduate programs are often offered through schools that have deep backgrounds in computer science, information technology, or statistics. These disciplines all have traditions of collecting and making sense of data using scientific methods. The new data science programs are preparing students to use those traditional methods of data handling and then to scale them to handle new kinds of information and the massive data sets generated by modern sensing and communications technology.

Increasingly, organizations ranging from nonprofits to governments, and from mom-and-pop shops to Fortune 500 companies, are looking to base decisions on user-generated data. The one catch is that there is a shortage of well-qualified data scientists to meet the demand. Industries that are heavily recruiting for data scientists include ecommerce, business analytics, business intelligence, and health informatics. Graduates of data science master’s programs are reporting job offers from name brand tech companies like Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Apple, Uber, Airbnb, and Amazon.

While the future looks bright for graduates of data science master’s programs, it does not make the current decision about choosing the right school any less daunting.

What follows is a list of a key factors to consider when evaluating data science programs:

What are the admissions requirements?

While each school and program will have its own admission requirements, there are some similarities. All data science master’s programs require some background in statistics, mathematics, or computer science. However, not all programs require a GRE or GMAT score – six well-established programs listed below, including George Washington University, do not require a GRE.

For help preparing for the GRE check out our GRE Prep Guide to help prepare for the test.

Which programs have electives?

At their core, all programs will focus on foundational data science. But within the field there is also a tremendous amount of room to develop a specialty, which could lead to different career opportunities.   

For example, NYU students take 6 additional electives in their area of interest such as in business, health, or analytics. To help evaluate different master’s in data science programs, take note of the course offerings, including their elective options.

Which programs have internships? And what about career placement?

A master’s in data science is a professional degree. So paying attention to how the program will create a career foundation is critical. It’s not enough to just take classes and work on projects. Graduate programs should also help build professional networks and provide contacts.

There are four basic phases for becoming professional active in the data science field.

    • Portfolio: Class assignments, group work, and capstone projects all provide great opportunities to build a portfolio that will become invaluable when applying for jobs and trying to land interviews. Start publishing projects and work on a personal website or on a website like GitHub.
    • Internships: These experiences usually provide real world experience and can often lead to longer-term work or career opportunities. Like electives, internships are a good opportunity to try out different niches within the data science field. While applying, check to see if the program has an established internship program or requirement.
    • Career placement: Most graduate school programs will have some type of career placement or guidance service. When evaluating programs be mindful to look for strong career services activities.
  • Alumni network: Alumni can also serve as a great resource for developing career opportunities. Look to see if there are active opportunities to connect with alums and how those connections are made.

How long will the program last? Is it available part-time?

Most data science master’s degree programs take between a year and two years of full-time coursework, although some can take up to three years. Increasingly, programs are launching part-time options, such as the University of Washington, which is a great opportunity for working professionals.

How much is the tuition?

Tuition is often the leading factor in making decisions about graduate school, and it’s an important one. The list below contains some of the most current cost-per-credit information for data science master’s programs across the United States. One thing to consider is that higher cost-per-credit does necessarily mean higher quality or guarantee better outcomes. That’s why evaluating all of the components of a data science program are useful. Location, elective availability, career services, are all key factors. Most established and accredited data science programs will have some sort of financial aid or scholarships available.

Complete list of schools offering a Master’s in Data Science Degree program

This resource is dedicated to master’s programs in data science as well as programs that have a concentration or emphasis in data science. Other graduate programs similar to data science, such as business analytics, business intelligence, data analytics, health informatics and similar fields of study that are similar to data science are discussed elsewhere on the site. Online programs in data science can be found here.

This page is a current, comprehensive listing of accredited and campus-basedmaster’s degree programs in data science. The information comes from the most recent years of university course catalogs. So far, there are 31 programs in 19 different states including Washington DC listed on this page.

As more data science programs become available, we will continue to update the list. For updates or to add a new program please contact us so we can continually provide the most accurate and up to date information.

American University – Washington, D.C.
Master of Science in Data Science
American University’s M.S. in Data Science program is jointly administered by the School of Public Affairs and College of Arts and Sciences. Students will take courses in statistical methods and programming, regression, statistical machine learning, and political analysis with the aim of mastering both the theoretical knowledge and practical skills used by data scientists in academia, industry, and government.

Program Length: 30 Credit Hours
Delivery Method: Campus
GRE: Optional
2018-2019 Tuition: $1,708 per credit hour
Course Offerings


Brown University – Providence, Rhode Island
Master’s Program in Data Science 
Students can earn a Master’s Degree in Data Science as part of the Data Science Initiative at Brown University. There are nine credits required along with a capstone project in order to pass the program. The capstone project allows for hands on experience and should entail at least 180 hours of work to receive one course credit.

Program Length: 9 Credits
Delivery Method: Campus
GRE: Recommended
2018-2019 Tuition: $63,440 per year
Course Offerings


California Baptist University – Riverside, California
M.S. in Data Science and Knowledge Engineering
California Baptist University’s M.S. in Data Science and Knowledge Engineering is a 2 year program designed to help students develop and hone their skills in dealing with data, applying algorithms and presenting results to guide important decisions. The program begins with students completing 9 units of core requirements in Engineering Research and Practice, Engineering Research and Development Method, and Advanced Database Systems. The bulk of the program is 17 units in data management, data mining, statistics and information systems coursework. Finally, the program concludes with 6 units dealing with the thesis/ project requirement component of the program.

Program Length: 32 Units
Delivery Method: Campus
2018-2019 Tuition: $14,928 per year
Course Offerings


Carnegie Mellon University – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Master of Computational Data Science (MCDS)
Carnegie Mellon University’s Master of Computational Data Science (MCDS) program provides students with the skills and knowledge grounded in computer science. Three majors include: systems, analytics or human-centered data science. Working with industry leaders, students complete a capstone project and use international challenge competitions as a means to gain experience and grow portfolios.

Program Length: 144 Units
Delivery Method: Campus
GRE: Required
2018-2019 Tuition: $25,000 per semester, $2,640 summer term
Course Offerings


Chapman University – Orange, California
Master of Science in Computational and Data Sciences
Candidates for the master’s in computational and data science at Chapman University begin by completing 13 core credits in basic methodologies and techniques of computational science. Students complete 12 credits of electives and 6 thesis or additional elective credits in an emphasis area of their choice – analytics and applied mathematics, bioinformatics and computational biology, computational economics, or earth system science. Applicants must have completed courses in differential equations, data structures, and probability and statistics, or take specific foundation courses, before beginning coursework toward the MS.

Program Length: 31 Credit Hours
Delivery Method: Campus
GRE: Required
2018-2019 Tuition: $1,505 per credit
Course Offerings


City College of New York – New York, New York
Master’s Program in Data Science and Engineering
The City College of New York’s Master’s Program in Data Science and Engineering aims towards students with a working background in science, engineering, or mathematics who desire to pursue more in-depth learning in data science methodologies. The core of the education covers fundamental data science and engineering computational and statistical skills. Students will apply these skills hands-on by combining the core knowledge with domain knowledge which they develop through two or more elective courses. Lastly, before graduation students must complete a capstone project or thesis that fully demonstrates a thorough and unlimited understanding of the mastery of data science methodology.

Program Length: 30 Credits
Delivery Method: Campus
GRE: Required
2018-2019 Tuition: $5,365 per semester (New York Resident) $830 per credit (Non-resident)
Course Offerings


City University of New York – New York, New York
M.S. Program in Data Science

Program Length: 30 Credits
Delivery Method: Campus
GRE: Required
2018-2019 Tuition: $455 per credit (New York Resident), $830 per credit (Non-resident)
Course Offerings


Claremont Graduate University – Claremont, California
Masters of Science in Information Systems & Technology: Concentration in Data Science & Analytics
Claremont Graduate University offers a Master’s of Science in Information Systems & Technology degree with a concentration in data science and analytics. Through this program students learn how large quantities of data can be leveraged to solve business and societal problems. Hands-on experience is offered through the Data Science Lab. This affords students the opportunity to assist businesses with the data science concepts they have learned in the program, including data mining and specialized programming.

Program Length: 36 Units
Delivery Method: Campus
GRE: Required
2018-2019 Tuition: $1,940 per unit
Course Offerings


Clemson University – Clemson, South Carolina
Master of Science in Biomedical Data Science and Informatics
The MS in biomedical data science and informatics is a 30-credit non-thesis program that takes 1.5-2 years to complete. Students take courses in each of 4 areas: biomedical informatics foundations and applications; computing/math/statistics/engineering; population health, health systems, and policy; and biomedical/medical domain. Applicants must have a bachelor’s in health science, computing, mathematics, statistics, engineering, or a related field, and it is recommended to also have competency in a second of these areas. Program requirements include a year of calculus and college biology, as well as experience in computer programming.

Program Length: 36 Units
Delivery Method: Campus
GRE: Required
2018-2019 Tuition: $1600 per credit
Course Offerings


Columbia University in the City of New York – New York, New York
MS – Masters in Data Science
At Columbia University the Masters in Data Science is a part of the Data Science Institute.  This unique program applies data techniques to the student’s field of interest and is affiliated with 11 other graduate programs at Columbia. Students will conduct original research culminating in a capstone project. This program includes 30 credits with a variety of electives, including: cybersecurity, data media and society, financial and business analytics, health analytics and smart cities.

Program Length: 30 credit hours
Delivery Method: Campus
GRE: Required
2018-2019 Tuition: $2,018 per credit
Course Offerings


Cornell University – Ithaca, New York
Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Applied Statistics (Option II: Data Science)
M.S. track in Biostatistics and Data Science
Cornell University offers a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Applied Statistics (Option II: Data Science). Students who participate in this program  obtain world class training in applied statistics and gain  a solid foundation in theoretical statistics while receiving a certification in SAS. A real world data analysis project will be completed by students in this program. The main components of this degree are core courses and an in depth MPS project.

Program Length: 30-37 Credits
Delivery Method: Campus
GRE: Required
2018-2019 Tuition: $1,753 per credit
Course Offerings -Applied Statistics
Course Offerings – BioStatistics and Data Science


Dartmouth University – Lebanon, New Hampshire
QBS Masters of Science in Health Data Science

Program Length: 15 Months
Delivery Method: Campus
GRE: Required
2018-2019 Tuition: $75,566 per program
Course Offerings


Duke University – Durham, North Carolina
Master in Interdisciplinary Data Science (MIDS)
DDuke University offers a two-year Master in Interdisciplinary Data Science (MIDS). Students will complete eight core courses covering key topics in machine learning, data wrangling, database management, team management, statistics, data communication, analytical thinking, and ethics. Additionally, students select approximately eight electives to further their expertise within their focus of choice.

Program Length: 17 Courses
Delivery Method: Campus
GRE: Required
2018-2019 Tuition: $2,875 per credit
Course Offerings

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